Tea Party

When your parents both came to visit that day
You found they had become very small
Since the divorce
They could hardly see each other
Over the table at lunch
Then the arguing started again
That used to frighten you
But now with every shout
They only got smaller
You told them to be quiet
And put cushions under them on their chairs
But they started again
Before you could stop them
They were the size of dolls
You shushed them again
And set them up on the table top
You sat back down
They started again
They couldn't stop
You put your hands in front of them
To block their words
But they climbed up your arms
Mother stood on one shoulder
Father on the other
Both of them screaming
Three inches high
Two inches high
An inch high
As they climbed your hair
You clapped your hands to your ears
Saying Stop it
But Mother had reached your left ear
Father had reached your right ear
Your hands covered them in your ears
They went inside
Still cursing
Tunneling into your head
Until they reached the hollow space
That had been there since they split apart
In that room that emptiness
Inside your head
They faced each other
The shouting started again
They grabbed little chunks of your brain
From the walls
In their tiny hands
And threw them at each other
Over and over
Ever tinier pieces
And ever tinier screams
Until you could not hear them
You could not feel them
In there
And you could
From that day forward
Walk straight

by D A Phinney

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